Exercise, Day 1: Mixing it up.

December 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm 3 comments

Well, I survived the Christmas season, and managed to lose a pound of weight in the process.  Not too shabby.  Back in the old WW days, we were just happy to get through the holidays without gaining, so a 1-pound loss is probably still something to write home about.  Besides, I noticed yesterday that I can now comfortably fit in my size 20 pants, whereas before I was squeezing into size 22/24.  I am resolved, therefore, to celebrate it as a success and move on.

I begin this round at 226, roughly 6 pounds from my 10% goal. (I rounded up to 245 when figuring that one).  My Wii Fit goal is set to something like 215 or something, but that’s because I accidentally reset it halfway through.  That’s another 5-pound star on WW.com, though, so I’ll leave it.

My goal this time is to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, preferably 60.  I figure this is a good time for this, since I received a wireless Mighty Mouse for Christmas, which will make working on my MacBook a whole lot easier.  All the better for treadmilling and working at the same time.  Andy has graciously agreed to help me fortify my Terrible Table so I’m not wobbling all over the place as I do it. 😉

So I’m here now.  I think I’ve been walking for about 20-30 minutes now, although I’m not sure.  It could be longer.  The worst thing about this treadmill is the fact that it’s old, and the display features don’t work at all.  I don’t know, therefore, how fast I’m walking or how long I’ve been doing it.  I can use my laptop clock to track the latter, but the former is probably going to require a pedometer or something.

It’s also, however, loud.  It grumbles and groans a lot as I walk, which is the real reason why Harold was willing to part with it for only $10.  I still haven’t resolved the static issue either, short of just wearing good walking shoes and trying not to hit myself on the metal parts of the machine after I’ve been on it awhile.  I could not, though, do official phone work while walking on it.  This isn’t the end of the world, but down the road it would be nice to be able to do ALL of my work while walking.

So I find myself ruminating over all of the various things  I want.  I want new shoes, as these are the same athletic shoes I’ve had for probably seven years at least, and they are about as shot as shoes can get.  I want a new treadmill.  I want new cookware.  I want better cookbooks.  I want a Wacom Intuous Tablet.  I want an iPhone.  I want a Roomba.   I want a new fence for the dogs in the backyard.  I want,  I want, I want, I want.

Pretty tacky to be thinking this way, since Christmas has just passed.  But looking at it another way, I am starting to feel like goals in general are more attainable now that I seem to be making marked progress toward the really big goal of my life. I have never been a good example of dogged determination in the past, but I do respond to small chains of successes, like those I’m experiencing now.

I’m also reminded of some pearls of wisdom I learned in college while training for teaching.  One of my professors explained to us that student motivation, as a whole, is most impacted by novelty and mood.  Individually, they may have more compelling reasons to feel motivated or not, but as a group they tend to respond better when the overall mood is good and the overall novelty is high.

This is especially useful to keep in mind as the school year progresses through the seasons.  At the beginning of the school year, the weather is warm, novelty is high, and everyone works pretty well.  By the end of October, though, the humdrum of routine has set in, the weather is starting to turn cloudy, and student motivation drops off dramatically.   Christmas break provides some novelty, so productivity tends to be high in January, but come February overall motivation hits an all-time low.  The weather has been bad for a long time, Spring Break is too far away to be of much interest yet, and both teachers and students are wishing school would go away and never come back.  From there, with Spring Break and Summer on the horizon, mood improves and productivity plateaus out.

Recognizing this trend can help teachers prepare to keep the interest level in their classroom high.  Since mood is not something most of us can affect successfully, teachers should therefore kick up the novelty in the classroom periodically to keep the kids on their toes.  Much as kids like a routine (and this is the bottom line), once they’ve adapted to it they start relaxing and manipulating it.  For example, once they are trained to sit in a given seat or turn their homework in in a given place, they start breaking the routine.  They don’t turn their homework in.  They try to sit in a different place.  They come in late, they squirrel around.    Basically, as soon as the routine gets boring, they insert their own (often inappropriate) novelty.

Therefore, teachers should use November and February as a time to mix up the classroom.  Change up the seating charge, rearrange the classroom, put up new posters, etc.  This keeps the kids on their toes and just enough off-kilter that they aren’t likely to cause problems during class.   Then you can relax a bit and let them settle in before changing things up again.

This is a very long-winded explanation, I realize, but what I have come to realize is that the same principle applies to me, too.  One of the reasons why the 21-day approach works for me is because I keep changing things up on myself every few weeks, so I don’t get to the point where I get bored and start exploring ways to cheat.  Like I said about the Weight Watchers thing, for example; the practice of ‘cheating’ by eating low-points junk becomes a first step down a slippery slope that leads to me justifying eating higher-points junk.  Then I get the cravings, then I start getting an attitude, and eventually I just call the whole thing off.

So… the 21-day approach is working.  Now I’m adding in exercise, and at the end of all of this typing I’ve walked for about 90 minutes.  Meanwhile I intermittently typed here, chatted with Pangie and Feaelin online, talked to Paxa on the phone, wrote the beginnings of a new program, zipped up picture files for a website, and handled some user queries on NM.  Not bad.    I stopped walking a bit ago, and I’m still standing on my treadmill like a dork because I don’t want to stop working yet. 😉    I have a feeling this walking thing won’t be a problem to sustain.

Fasting day.  Off to eat my 1.5 point box of Healthy Vision vegetable blend. 😉

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Entry filed under: ADF, Exercise, Successes. Tags: , , .

ADF/WW: Weigh In Exercise, Day 2: Treadmill Woes

3 Comments

  • 1. Pangie  |  December 30, 2008 at 8:37 am

    I’m excited for you to move on to exercise! Are you continuing ADF during this at first? I’m assuming you’re hanging on to WW for a while, right?

    I like that the exercise you’re doing is tread-typing, because that means we can expect to see you online for at least half an hour every day! 😉

  • 2. Jennifer  |  December 30, 2008 at 10:49 am

    *grin* Yes, I’m continuing with both ADF and WW. I probably will do both until I hit my goal weight, barring some major catastrophe that would prevent me.

  • 3. melalvai  |  December 30, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    I got more enjoyment out of paying off our credit cards last summer than I do out of most purchases.

    We had an unexpected windfall recently when I got paid for the substitute teaching I did this past semester. When I was finally convinced that the money wasn’t a mistake, my first thought was “We can pay down debt.” That is a Dave Ramsey influence, I admit. It was actually more satisfying and comforting to have that answer immediately, than previous windfalls that we agonized over how to spend.

    I actually experience a slight discomfort when I’ve gotten a lot of new things, a sort of, “Now what?” Like when I got my bicycle, clothes, accessories, etc. I went from having a huge bicycle wish list to having a very short bicycle wish list in a brief period of time and it left me a bit disoriented. It’s a bit odd but I think I get more enjoyment out of the things I want than I do out of the things I have. I enjoy researching the item, and thinking and talking about it, and figuring out the ways & means (ie, $). Once I own it, it doesn’t take up as much space in my mind any more.

    I kind of got lost where I was going with this, but I think my point was that setting goals and working toward them turns out to be more enjoyable for me than reaching them.


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